26 February 2014

Tomatillo Seed Husks - Nature's Lace


Memory lane came in a flat rate box for Valentine's day.  I've already told you about the cookies Grammy used to make but now Mom makes, and the hard cover brown New Testament.  There was another little treasure box tucked inside the larger box, but before I show you what it is, we have to walk through last summer's garden one more time.

We'll pause to remember how the tomatillo plants kept having leaves turn yellow and fall off before they made it into some good, solid dirt, and how after that they seemed to grow an inch or two every day.

We'll get back down on our hands and knees to look up into the sweet yellow blossoms blooming face down, wondering if they have voices we can't hear to call the bees and if they don't have voices we'll wonder how the bees found them here in the middle of the neighborhood.

We'll look at the little green balloon lanterns with fruits inside for lights, gently pinching each one to be sure there really is something happening in there.  We'll watch as the paper husks begin to stretch and crack a little while the fruits poke their heads out into the big garden world.

We'll think of that other flat rate box bearing some of the harvest all those miles, and the delicious tomatillo salsa verde we made from our very own tomatillos.

We'll lift the lid on the pretty little stationery box, fairly certain there won't be stationery inside, but sure enough, we'll find something beautiful.  Nature's lace.  Nature's almost-silver wrought veins, holding little specks that, if planted, will become just like those other tomatillos who got about as tall as I am.

I can hardly bear to open the husks to get the seeds out, for fear of crushing the lace. 

I think of how seeds are the beginning, how they start tiny and grow to my size or taller.  I think of how they don't seem to change much from day to day, but in a week?  You'd hardly know it's the same plant from that tiny little seed.  

I think of how the fruit forms, and then how the fruits lead to more seeds, and how the beginning becomes the end of the plant's life, and how the end becomes another beginning.


  1. awww... that's awesome! And you're saving all seeds because they are heirloom and meant to be saved and replanted, right?

    Talking of tomatillos, have you ever tasted "ground cherries"? I think you can plan them too, they are perennial and oh, soooo yummy? (yellow and sweet and tangy). I don't know if seeds can be bought. They are native of Peru or another South American country. you should check them out.

    P.S. a couple of years ago my SIL blogged about having them in a fancy party in Brazil, dipped in chocolate, then she found them at a fancy supermarket and bought them. So I asked the mennonite farm lady I was working for as part of our share about it and she actually planted them!! So I bought several boxes and even saved them for my sister-in-law (they weren't exactly like the South American ones, different taste). In any case, I haven't had them since 2011, but have had them in my mind ever since...

  2. HERE!! http://www.rareseeds.com/ground-cherry/

  3. Yes, L, these are heirlooms! We are trying to only grow heirlooms, so we can save the seeds from our very own garden. Lots to learn, but we're having so much fun learning! I've read that with the tomatillos, you have to be careful to pick every fruit, unless you want a forest of them next season! So those seem to be easier to save than some other things.

    Oh, yay for Baker Creek having ground cherries! I've seen them in the catalog before, but I've never heard enough about them to know whether I should plant them. I guess now I should! One more thing to find space for...eventually!!


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